Woodworking design software reports – a design land map

Woodworking software reports:  Optimizer, Parts List, Shop Drawings bring information and control.

We hold an online, free open meeting with SketchList 3D users each Tuesday and Wednesday evening to teach users about our woodworking design software.  So we cover tools and techniques, explore user designs, and create designs of various furniture and cabinetry designs during that time.  In one of the recent meetings, we analyzed a user’s design.

woodworking software image of cabinet


That conversation found a new way to look at reporting and the SketchList 3D woodworking software.  Not to mention a more in-depth description of the difference between the Professional and Hobby versions.

Until now, the comparison of our woodworking software’s Professional and Hobby versions is a comparison chart found on our web page.

But you see, this listed comparison is strictly quantitative. The list with its numbers provides some differences between the Professional versus the Hobby versions. What it does not do is describe the qualitative aspects. That is how you would work with the Pro versus the Hobby version.

Aside from the fact that the Pro version gives you photo-like images of your designs and optimizes your sheet goods layout, the reporting provides the ability to plan, analyze, and understand your project and important ways.


When we used the optimizer on a volunteer user-submitted project.  Then we identified mistakes in the design, point out what needed in the materials database, and understand how the woodworking design software’s board types and the grain direction affects the design.

Watch this video showing how we used the optimizer to find and fix issues with the design.

Once we discovered and illuminated simple errors in the design, we were able to run the optimizer.  After that, we generated a cut list and parts list for the project.

Part and cut lists

In the Hobby version the cut list report of the woodworking software provides information about the parts. The parts list has a front end in the Professional version that can specify information.  Specifically individual assemblies, doors, drawers, hardware, and course boards. This information includes grain direction, location within the design (left, front, bottom), placement of holes, types of joinery and contours, and important notes.

Watch this video to see how we used the parts list to develop a comprehensive report for the project.

We show how the information describes the project’s workflow.  For example, you might note that a part goes to a panel saw or the table saw.

By adding the location values of the front, bottom, and left to the report and sorting those values, you can almost “see” how the design goes together.

Of course, all the reporting in this woodworking software integrates into the design process—no extra work.  Add any change that reflects instantly on all data.

Shop drawings

The third segment of the meeting explains how to create shop drawings and SketchList 3D.  The shop drawings work the same in both the Professional and Hobby versions.  Drawings are created by pointing to lines or to two points for which you want to display dimensions. They are dynamic.  When the size of the object is changed in design, that change is carried into the shop drawing.

This video shows how to use the shop drawing feature to create dimensioned line drawings of the project.


There are two takeaways from this session. Number one – the Professional version of our woodworking software provides much more capability to plan, manage, and understand your project.  The various reports are much more than rows and columns of numbers, names, and sizes.

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